Larkspur Queen by Megan Leonard

coming april 2023

Larkspur Queen

by Megan Leonard

Publication Date: 3 April 2023
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

The poems in Larkspur Queen lead the reader through a strange, enchanted world where queens transform into castles and spiders and princesses eat their foes for dinner. Inspired by the contrapuntal rhythms of the Lais of Marie de France, these modern-day las embrace extravagance, overstatement, and largess, all while making space for the uncanny and the unknown.

Maximalist and lyrical, these poems explore chronic illness, mental illness, and disability; the voices in these poems upend traditional views of motherhood, womanhood, and selfhood. In a reclaiming and refashioning of the heroic, the voices and characters in this collection of poems reinvent what it means to tell their own stories on their own terms: unflinchingly, and taking up space.

About the Author

MEGAN LEONARD is the author of Larkspur Queen (Nightingale & Sparrow Press, 2023), book of lullabies (Milk & Cake Press, 2020).

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coming march 2023

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis by Eira Stuart

coming march 2023

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

by Eira Stuart

Publication Date: 21 March 2023
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

M.E. is arguably the most stigmatized illness of this century! It stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis which means inflammation of the brain and spine with muscle pain Prof. Malcolm Hooper). It is a neurological-immune disease comparable with MS and polio Dr Bryron Hyde, Nightingale Foundation Canada).

However, a lack of research and funding have caused this biomedical disease to be stigmatised as a psychological/ psychiatric disorder for decades by some members of the medical profession, until research in recent years has begun to substantiate the organic biomedical nature of this disease for which formal recognition and policy changes were gained in 2015 (USA) and 2021 (UK).

I have dedicated this collection solely to raising awareness of this disease through my own journey and personal experience, in the hopes of shining a ray of understanding in to the metaphorical and literal darkness associated with this disease. It’s my most fervent aspiration to contribute to the paradigm shift regarding perception and understanding of this condition. While policies and clinical guidelines have formally changed, attitudes and perspectives have not yet fully caught up on a mainstream scale. This is a necessary breakthrough if patients are to have the medical, social, and community support they greatly deserve and require.

This collection is a labour of seven years. I began writing these poems in the dark while I was blind and paralysed in a nursing home, memorising them, then dictating them letter by letter through tracing on my carers hands over weeks, sometimes only managing a word a day. Sometimes with weeks of rest in between. To have them now in print to share with you is nothing short of miraculous and I’m truly grateful. I hope you find value, insights, and understanding in my creative offering.

About the Author

Eira Stuart is passionate about social justice and has written extensively in support of M.E. patient advocacy as guest writer for the M.E. Association. Her article M.E.; A Conundrum in Care has recently been published in nurse Gregg Crowhurst’s (a well regarded advocate nurse and expert on M.E. care) guide on M.E. care: More Notes for Carers.

Eira Stuart

Eira’s recent literary publications include featured micro poetry in Nightingale and Sparrow’s “Heat” issue press release, publication in an anthology entitled Screaming from the Silence, in support of victims of domestic violence (Vociferous Press 2020), But You Don’t look sick, an anthology to raise awareness of invisible chronic illnesses such as M.E. and Fibromyalgia (Indie Blu(e), Jand a nonfiction series of reflections on unity conscious entitled Eudaimonia. She has two published poetry collections: Sophistry (2012) and Metanoia (2020).

Eira has been nominated for Sundress Presses Best of the Net Anthology 2020 and short-listed at The Brit Writers Awards 2010.

Valley Girls cover

Valley Girls Become Valley Women by E. Oliver

Valley Girls cover

Valley Girls Become Valley Women

by E. Oliver

Publication Date: 20 February December 2023
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

In an exploration of queer womanhood, Valley Girls Become Valley Women traces its narrator’s struggle to define herself in a space populated by female lovers, relatives, and friends. The enclosed poems weave together childhood traumas, teenage sexual awakenings, and adult anxieties, documenting both a burgeoning queer identity and growing familial expectations. At its core, the collection pulls on ties between women, unraveling the complexities of femininity in the process. The narrator finds herself continually defined by her mother, sister, grandmothers, aunts, and lovers, even as she fails to see remnants of herself within them. Although encapsulating a—rather than the—experience of queer American womanhood, Valley Girls Become Valley Women reflects a ubiquitous longing to understand and be understood without relinquishing one’s sense of self.

The collection travels chronologically from childhood to young adulthood, following its narrator from grade-school field trips to sex-talks over cocktails. Its 62 pages are undeniably a series of love letters to Southern California (if scorched a bit around the edges). The narrator’s life plays out over pitchers of lemonade, in lawns of plastic flamingos, and under brilliant Los Angeles sunsets. In the valley, she hears the stories of her mother and grandmothers and sketches a new one of her own.

About the Author

E. Oliver

E. Oliver (she/her) is a poet and short fiction author based in California. She received her BA in history from CSU Northridge and her MA in history from UC Riverside, where she focused on queerness, gender, and sexuality in Early California. Examples of her work can be found in FUNGI Magazine, Columbia Journal, Stonecoast Review, and Capsule Stories. Her latest poetry chapbook, Homing Pigeon, was released by Louisiana Literature Press in 2022.

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Aquarius Rising cover

Sagiquarius: An excerpt from Aquarius Rising

I often read those predictions in the magazines
And look for our signs
Sagittarius, Aquarius

And then it all blends into each other
After a while
Much like we do

We encountered one another during chaos
Created love in a sea of fire
Felt the chill of ice and still built a friendship
Remained connected even by a tenuous rope

And then it all blends into each other
After a while
Love, friendship, chaos, fire, ice

I sometimes wonder
When I spread myself open wide
In more ways than one
What you think of when you see me in my most vulnerable state

Because it all blends into each other
After a while
Being open and ready, willing to give and receive

Even as state lines and time zones
And your own damaged brain and my baggage
Weigh us down and threaten us with combustion
We still manage to salvage each other from the blast

And as it all blends into each other
After a while
Where you end, I begin, and you begin where I end

I often wonder if you’re ready to be inside me
As I am, inside of you
To enter the portal into the divine
The portal that takes and gives in equal measure
Much like you and I do

And I often wonder if they’ll ever make a section in the magazines
Dedicated to our more imperfect union

I often wonder if there is such a thing as a Sagiquarius
Or if it’s only something
That you and I

Aquarius Rising

Aquarius Rising by Bernadette R. Giacomazzo

Aquarius Rising cover

Aquarius Rising

by Bernadette R. Giacomazzo

Publication Date: 13 December 2022
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

Veteran entertainment journalist Bernadette Giacomazzo takes readers
through the rise – and fall – of a once-loving, all-consuming relationship.

About the Author

Bernadette Giacomazzo is a veteran entertainment journalist whose work has been featured in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times,
The NY Post, & more. She is also the SEO Manager at Blavity, Inc., the CEO of G-Force Marketing & Publicity, & a film & TV executive.

coming december 2022
Aquarius Rising cover

Invictus. Lux Aeterna. An Author Statement by Bernadette Giacomazzo

Dear Reader:

I write this author statement on November 29, 2022 — my 45th birthday — about two weeks before Aquarius Rising, my first-ever (and, possibly last-ever) poetry chapbook hits the proverbial stands.

And on this day, I woke up and wrote two words, which will set the tone for the 45th chapter of my life: Invictus. Lux Aeterna. It means “Invincible” and “Eternal Light,” respectively. 

Fitting, given all I’ve been through…which is worthy of a memoir, not a poetry chapbook.

Aquarius Rising is but a small sliver of my life — a few pages in one chapter of the memoir, if you will — but it’s one that I’m both glad I went through…and glad it’s behind me. No matter what has tried to break me, I’ve always emerged like a phoenix — and the basis of this chapbook is no different. It’s a writer’s inalienable right to plunder his/her own life for fodder for their work — so what better basis for my poetry than my own life?

Since I was 16 years old — a time when grunge was all the rage, when Daria Morgendorffer was my idol, and when I began experimenting with makeup that made me look like Brandon Lee in The Crow — I’ve wanted to write poetry, but could never write something heartfelt and passionate enough to be worthy of publication. (And believe me, I tried.) 

It’s that girl that’s celebrating today — well, as much as a teenager in the 1990s saddled with ennui and playing Mother Love Bone’s “Stardog Champion” and “Crown of Thorns” ad infinitum until the cassette tape wore out would be celebrating. You might say she’s smiling on the inside.

And, in turn, it’s the 45-year-old woman that’s smiling back at her…on the outside…telling her to keep going, to never give up, to live life in fifth gear speeding down the Autobahn, and to turn tragedy into testimony…and pain into art. It is, after all, her inalienable right.

Invictus. Lux Aeterna.

Aquarius Rising


coming september 2024



Publication Date: 24 September 2024
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

Over the last few years, I have been working on a collection of poetry that reflects the darker sides of my mind. The poems touch on themes like loneliness, mental health, death, hope, travels, and strength.

My poems will appeal to those struggling with mental health (or those supporting their loved ones), young adults, those who want to break through despite coming from marginalized environments, and fans of Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf.

Behind the Ghost Metropolis shows my struggle with bipolar disorder and attempts to make something of myself against all odds. I wrote the poetry to stop the stigma of mental health and to show people who may feel like they’re doomed and lost, that they can’t give up—there’s always hope for a better life. Written during my manic and depressive episodes, the poems are both realistic and personal.

About the Author

I am a bipolar writer, translator, and poet from Warsaw. I’ve lived in NYC, Italy, Spain, and London. My short stories, essays, and poems have been published in American and Polish literary magazines including “OC87 Recovery Diaries”, “The Beautiful Space,” “Unique Poetry,” “Island” and “Completely Different World.” I’m an author of the poetry book, “Behind the Ghost Metropolis”, published by Nightingale & Sparrow in 2024.

Bough Break by Jessica Hudson

coming june 2024

Bough Break

by Jessica Hudson

Publication Date: 4 June 2024
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

Accumulating moments that force the speaker to reconsider her childhood expectations, Bough Break attempts to maintain a sense of kindness toward the delirious grown-up world and the strange, sharp people who stay long after they make their impressions. Through the confluence of memory, media, and the meticulous eye of the speaker, each poem disturbs a moment of calm in a young girl’s world—a disturbance that creates a sudden overwhelming awareness of the delineation between self and other, care and apathy, dependence and separation. These are the moments right before the cradle falls, when the baby realizes she’s in a tree and the branch beneath her is cracking.

Jessica Hudson

About the Author

Jessica Hudson received her MFA in Creative Writing from Northern Michigan University, where she worked as an associate editor for the literary magazine Passages North. Her work has been published in CHEAP POP, Fractured Lit, The Pinch, So To Speak, and West Trade Review, among others. She currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she writes and reads creative nonfiction beside her snoring black cat. Read more of her work at

inside the pale by Christine Brooks

coming march 2024

inside the pale

by Christine Brooks

Publication Date: 19 March 2024
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

inside the pale is a collection of poems that was inspired by, or written in, Ireland. This collection includes poems about life and all that life offers us as we travel together. It contains poems about life when life is hard as well as life when it is full of love and togetherness. It contains, within the safety of the covers, secrets, truths and hope.

Christine Brooks

About the Author

Christine Brooks holds her M.F.A. from Bay Path University in Creative Nonfiction. She has two books of poetry available, The Cigar Box Poems and beyond the paneling. Her first fiction novel, Tambo Man, will be released in 2023. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her very opinionated dog, Clancy.

knick-knacks/ things no one is saying by SJ Valiquette 

knick-knacks/ things no one is saying

by SJ Valiquette

Publication Date: 5 December 2023
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

For the past few years I’ve had a fixation with grief and anger and how we move through and express those emotions. It started as a deep dive into my own grief and then became an ongoing conversation with my community and loved ones. This collection is a reflection of those conversations, lessons, and discoveries.

knick-knacks/ things no one is saying is an exploration of how grief and anger live in the body, what happens when they are neglected, and what it is to live right on the precipice of those experiences, and how to honour and occupy those emotional states while existing in public spaces that doesn’t always know how to accommodate them.

SJ Valiquette

About the Author

SJ Valiquette (she/ they) is a queer artist from Treaty 7 Territory. She is an actor, an internationally published poet and photographer, and the creator and curator of the (re)markable project. They hold a BFA in Theatre from the University of Victoria, and have studied at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.